The Breakdown: AJ and Nate set predictions for Mayweather-McGregor

AJ’s Take:
As Conor McGregor walks towards the ring with that same craziness in his eyes and Irish flags waving throughout T-Mobile Arena, the world will see more than a spectacle. We will be watching a dog fight.
Before McGregor’s professional boxing debut tonight, he took the UFC universe by storm. The 29-year-old from Dublin native compiled an impressive 21-3 record in the cage with 18 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Of these 24 fights, only one of those went past the third round–a full 5-round majority decision win against Nate Diaz last year.
Going from the Octagon to the boxing ring has made analysts and avid fans alike skeptical about how effective McGregor will be against Mayweather. In reality, McGregor is notorious for his erratic, yet very effective left-handed “striker” fighting style. As a striker, McGregor prefers to be standing, throwing punches rather than grappling. Being this type fighter will help him make a smoother transition into boxing.
To put it into perspective, of McGregor’s 18 career KOs, 16 of them came from punches.
Despite Mayweather’s undefeated 49-0 record, he’s currently 40 years old and has been on the record with SportsCenter saying that he has definitely “lost a step.” The general consensus within the fighting community is that Mayweather is one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time. Some call it defense, I call it running around the ring.
As aggressive as McGregor is in his fighting style, his best shot at giving Mayweather his first loss is to attack him and not let him breathe. If McGregor is in the shape that he would need to be to execute that tactic, Mayweather will hit the floor at some point tonight.
While Conor needs to be on the offensive for most of the fight, he can’t get sucked into Mayweather running around the ring and covering up. The advantage of Floyd’s fighting style is the fact that his opponent needs to get close for them to do any damage. As soon as they get close, a hook or an uppercut could be waiting. Luckily, McGregor’s two-inch reach advantage (74” to Mayweather’s 72”) can get him far enough to lay the wood without putting himself in a whole lot of danger. Two inches might not seem like a lot, but those couple of inches can be the difference between a knockout and a lowly jab to the head.
At 8:00 CT tonight, the so-called “spectacle” between McGregor and Mayweather will turn into a dog fight. The stubborn Irishman won’t back down from Mayweather. Don’t be surprised if Money Mayweather leaves Nevada tonight with a 49-1 record.
McGregor isn’t here to take part. He is here to take over.
McGregor via KO 7th round
Nathan’s Take:
A few years back, after Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Manny Pacquiao in an overhyped, boring fight that made both of the boxers tens of millions of dollars richer, an up and coming UFC fighter shared his opinion on twitter.That felt more like a business transaction than a fight.” the fighter tweeted, “Respect to Floyd though. Boxing is not the style of fighting to stop him.”

Soon after tweeting he tweeted this, Conor McGregor won his first UFC title, and he continued to take the MMA fighting world by storm. Over one year and three months after McGregor tweeted that Mayweather couldn’t be beat in a boxing match, McGregor will fight Mayweather… in a boxing match.

McGregor clearly has a lot of confidence in himself, which is respectable if not mislead. McGregor is not a boxer; he’s a fighter, and a fantastic one at that. But to think that he even has a fraction of a chance against the best boxer in the world? Ludicrous.

Floyd Mayweather has ran through the toughest tests boxing has had to offer. He has beaten DeMarcus Corley, Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, Marcos Maidana, and Manny Pacquiao, with none of them coming particularly close to beating him. Meanwhile, McGregor has never even boxed professionally.

This is quite simply a new lane for McGregor, one he has never been in before. Sure McGregor has a good punch. Most of his MMA wins were via technical knockout or knockout through punches. But MMA is a different game. Those same fighters who he’s beating are also protecting against kicks and takedowns, so McGregor has more room to punch.

Mayweather is the best defensive boxer who has ever stepped into the ring. McGregor could give Mayweather everything he has, and he would struggle to land a significant punch. Mayweather could easily destroy McGregor with the counter punches that he has been able to make a living off of. Mayweather’s biggest offense is on those counters, so look for Mayweather to capitalize off of an errant McGregor strike.

The most interesting thing will be to see if McGregor can even survive for more than just a few rounds. Because of the magnitude of this fight, the refs won’t let the match end too early. McGregor’s beating should be done by a seventh or eighth round technical knockout.

The most significant thing McGregor will do with this fight is cash out. He’ll be nearly doubling his net worth, which is currently $34 million, in a currently undisclosed fighting purse that is estimated to be around $30 million for him.

Meanwhile, Money Mayweather will be making the easiest $100 million of his life, as he walks through his proclaimed “final fight” against an amateur.

McGregor should and probably will go back to dominating the UFC circuit after the embarrassment he’ll suffer tonight.

And for Mayweather, he’ll be able to sit back $100 million dollars richer, soaking up some sun, and enjoying his retirement.

Mayweather via TKO in the 6th round.